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Norwalk Housing Authority, United Way Rallying For Afterschool Programs

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), pictured at an event at Norwalk’'s Head Start program at Nathaniel Ely School, will join the Norwalk Housing Authority Oct. 23 in asking for more state support of afterschool programs..
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), pictured at an event at Norwalk’'s Head Start program at Nathaniel Ely School, will join the Norwalk Housing Authority Oct. 23 in asking for more state support of afterschool programs.. Photo Credit: Provided

NORWALK, Conn. -- The Norwalk Housing Authority and United Way of Coastal Fairfield County will join with other education advocates and state officials Friday, Oct. 23, to participate in a nationwide rally for after-school programs. 

The event, Lights On Afterschool, is expected to attract more than 1 million participants to draw attention to the importance of high-quality afterschool programs. The local event takes place from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Nathaniel Ely gymnasium, 11 Ingalls Ave. in Norwalk.

Other local participants will include Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, state Rep. Bruce Morris (D-Norwalk), state. Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), and officials from Norwalk Public Schools and the Norwalk Arts Commission. At the event, parents and supporters can sign a petition urging lawmakers to maintain financial support for afterschool programs. 

There will also be music, exhibits, and other activities to support early access to education.

The NHA’s Afterschool Learning Center will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year and currently serves nearly 240 youth at five resident locations. Afterschool programs focus on homework support, literacy, math literacy, and creative arts. 

Since 2009, United Way has funded a NHA afterschool math literacy program for approximately 180 NHA students, grades K-12, five days per week, year-round. Because of it, students in grades 2-8, on average, have increased their overall math scores by 40 percent. 

As longtime partners, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County and the Norwalk Housing Authority’s focus is on the well-being of low-income residents, providing opportunities toward independence through education, innovation, and community action. 

For more details, visit the Afterschool Alliance website or contact the NHA Learning Center Director, Wendy Gerbier, at 203-852-1144 or wgerbier@norwalkha.org. 

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County serves the towns of Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stratford, Westport, Trumbull, Easton, Monroe, Weston, Norwalk, Wilton, New Canaan and Darien. To find out more, visit the website.

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